Foreign Golden Globe contenders grounded in reality

Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:45pm EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Movies grounded in real events dominated nominations in the Golden Globe Awards' foreign film category on Thursday, even as one of those films used animation to interpret its reality.

"Waltz with Bashir" from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman is based on conversations Folman recorded with friends and a psychologist about fighting in Lebanon in the 1980s. The recordings are played through the movie, and brought to life with often surreal animation.

Italian Mafia film "Gomorrah" is based on a book about the Neapolitan Mafia written by Roberto Saviano, who now lives under police protection for fear of retaliation from the mob.

"Everlasting Moments" tells the story of how a relative of Swedish director Jan Troell's wife found solace in photography amid her chaotic life, and "The Baader Meinhof Complex" chronicles the violent exploits of Germany's Red Army Faction.

The fifth nominee, French movie "I've Loved You So Long" from director Philippe Claudel, is fiction and follows a woman reconnecting with her sister. It earned Kristin Scott Thomas a best actress nomination for her starring role.

"Gomorrah" director Matteo Garrone said he hopes his film's nomination will help it win over American audiences, and he admits to being curious about how it will play in the United States because it does not glorify gangsters.

"It's interesting to show how different is the real life of criminals from the stories in cinema that we have about criminals," he said.

While a Golden Globe nomination can be a harbinger for an Oscar nod, Troell's 1970s films "The Emigrants" and "The New Land" both won Golden Globes but lost in their Oscar bids.   Continued...

<p>Finnish actress Maria Heiskanen is shown in a scene from the Swedish film "Everlasting Moments" in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters December 11, 2008. "Everlasting Moments" has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards, to be presented January 11, 2009. REUTERS/IFC Films/Handout</p>